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L.A. Is a Top-10 World City for Natural Disasters

L.A. Is a Top-10 World City for Natural Disasters

Corey Miller/LA Weekly Flickr pool

We hate it when East Coasters, Midwesterners and Southerners talk about California as if it shouldn't be allowed to exist.

Earthquakes, fires and coastal floods could ruin your day, yes, but they don't happen every day. And natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and extreme weather rock other parts of the nation with equal if not greater costs to the American taxpayer.

See also: 5.1 Earthquake Shakes SoCal

But before you stand your ground and shoot down your East Coast relatives for doubting the long-term viability of Southern California's not-so terra firma, be prepared for some sobering news:

As it turns, out, Greater Los Angeles is a top-10 city in the world for the number of "people potentially affected" by a natural disaster, according to an analysis by the global reinsurance company Swiss Re.

The key word here is potentially, and we hope it stays that way.

L.A. Is a Top-10 World City for Natural Disasters

Swiss Re

In fact, we rank ninth by that metric, one place better than Tehran, one worse than Shanghai. The company says 16.4 million people could be rocked by select natural perils (earthquakes, winds, river floods, storms, and tsunamis).

L.A. did even worse for earthquakes alone, coming in fourth behind Tokyo, Jakarta and Manila.

L.A. Is a Top-10 World City for Natural Disasters

Swiss Re

We made No. 6 in the world in terms of "working days lost" as a result of potential natural disasters, Swiss Re found. We beat out New York (7) and San Francisco (8).

Thanks to the earthquake risk, the metro L.A. area ranks No. 1 in North and Central America, beating out Mexico City, according to the analysis.

The company says 14.7 million people could be affected by a major temblor here. Swiss Re has a pretty wide definition of Greater L.A. (a 15.4 million-resident area). Still, the company knows the score:

The danger faced by cities near the San Andreas Fault, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, is widely known.

Fine. Maybe we really don't belong here.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.